Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe With Cream Cheese Frosting

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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You won’t believe how easy it is to whip up some carrot cake quick bread, especially if you’ve already got a loaf pan around the kitchen!

Carrot Cake Loaf

Back then, layered carrot cakes used to be all the rage in my bakery. But let me tell you, once I started churning out batches of my carrot cake loaf, it took over as the ultimate best-seller. 

Why Recipe Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe Is Such A Hit

Carrot Cake Loaf recipe
  • The shredded carrots bring little bursts of natural sweetness and moisture to your taste buds. And let’s not forget about all the spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, sometimes a dash of ginger, etc. They team up to create this cozy, comforting flavor you just can’t forget! Want something with a bit more spice? My snickerdoodle or gingerbread cupcakes will scratch that itch, ready to surprise you with their delicious warmth!
  • Imagine sinking your teeth into this soft, fluffy cake, and then, surprise! They hit these tiny shreds of carrots, and you can feel a delightful chewiness with each bite. What an exhilarating flavor adventure! 
  • And let me tell you about the charm of loaf cakes: they’re the low-key, easier-going cousins of the fancy layered carrot cakes. A breeze to whip up, and therefore, means less time slaving away in the kitchen. Perfect for those hectic days when you want nothing more than a quick treat without fuss! 
  • Carrot cake loaf isn’t just for dessert. Oh no, no, it’s a versatile champ. Have a slice with your morning coffee, or as an afternoon pick-me-up, or serve it during dinner! And since there are carrots in the recipe, many see it as a much healthier treat than other sweets. Now, who can argue with that? 

How To Make Carrot Cake Loaf

Cake Loaf

Step 1.

Alright, let’s turn on our baking mode!

First, preheat your oven to 350°F (or 177°C), and grease a 8 x 4 loaf pan (use the 9 x 5 size if you crave more).

See more: Cake Pan Sizes

Oh, and if you’re thinking of something smaller, like mini loaves or muffins, I’ve got some tips for you, too. Just hang tight!

Carrot Cake pan

Step 2.

Now, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg ’til they’re all buddy-buddy. Set that aside for a sec.

Step 3.

Mix oil, eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, carrots, and vanilla in another medium bowl until combined. Then, pour these wet ingredients over the dry (from Step 2) and give ’em a gentle whisk until just blended. Toss in some nuts or any extras you like; we’re talking semi-thick batter here! 

Carrot Cake Loaf step 1 2 3 4

Step 4.

Next, spread your batter into the greased loaf pan and pop it into the oven. Baking times can vary from oven to oven (55 to 65 minutes), so remember to keep track of yours. 

I usually cover my cake with foil after the first 25 minutes to keep the top from getting too brown! You’ll know it’s done when a small toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean – no raw batter clingin’ on. 

Carrot Cake Loaf 5 6 7

Step 5.

Once it’s baked to perfection, take it out and let it chill in its pan on the rack. And hey, if you’re planning to frost it (and I know you will!), make sure the cake has cooled completely before you start all your wild decoration ideas. 

Cream Cheese Frosting (Optional)

Step 6.

Up for some frosting fun? Here’s the scoop:

Grab your mixer (both stand and handheld work fine), slap on the whisk or paddle attachment, then whip the cream cheese at medium-high until smooth and creamy. Toss in your butter and give it another mix ’til combined.

Cream Cheese Frosting step 1 2

Step 7. 

Next, add some confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a little salt (I never use more than ⅛ teaspoons, but feel free to adjust to your taste!). Whirl it all at low speed until smooth.

Step 8.

Finally, the fun part: taste test! If you crave more cinnamon or salt, just add them in. 

Now that your bread has cooled down, it’s time to spread on the frosting. Slice it up, serve it to your family and friends, and get ready for some serious, mind-blowing yumminess!

Carrot Cake Loaf final
How To Make Carrot Cake Loaf


1. For muffins or mini loaves, here’s what you do:

  • Grease your mini pan and whip up the batter just like we did in step 2.
  • Spoon it evenly into the greased cups and fill to the brim.
  • Put the cups in the oven at 350°F (or 177°C) and keep tabs on them. Baking times and yields depend on the pan size!

2. Sure, carrot cake loaf is fantastic fresh out of the oven, but it gets even better the next day! All the flavors finally settle just right, and the whole cake becomes twice as moist — peak perfection! 

So, if you’re going without frosting, just cover and leave the cake at room temp for about 4 days. But if you’re living in a humid or hot climate, toss it in the fridge for about a week.

3. How about a frosted cake? Once you’ve spread the frosting, pop the cake in the fridge, cover and let it chill for about a week. Let it return to room temp before digging in (although I’ve gotta admit, I’m a sucker for cold slices of carrot cake right out of the fridge. It’s just too hard to resist!)

4. Sometimes, I cut into the middle of the cake batter before baking. Totally optional, of course, but it keeps the loaf’s center from over-puffing or making a “dome.” This center area also bakes more evenly with other parts of your bread, so I see no reason you shouldn’t give it a try. 


My Carrots Seem Too Watery. What Should I Do?

Yup, shredded carrots can sometimes release an insane amount of moisture! So, after shredding the carrots, I often place them in a colander lined with paper towels to press out any excess water. 

Can I Freeze Leftover Carrot Cake Loaf?

Totally! Like my other cake recipes (e.g., carrot cake cupcakes or fruit cakes), carrot cake loaf freezes well. Wrap it tightly in plastic and put it in a freezer-safe container; the cake should last up to 3 months.

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Carrot Cake Loaf

Carrot Cake Loaf

Carrot cake loaf is the easy-breezy version of fancy layered carrot cakes, but don't let that fool you; it's still bursting with all the flavorful delights you could ever want!
4.37 from 11 votes
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Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Brenda Maher


Cake Loaf

  • 1 cup spooned, leveled all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • cup oil (vegetable, melted coconut, or canola)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened yogurt or applesauce (room temperature)
  • teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • optional ½ cup chopped walnuts or raisins, pecans, pecans, dried cranberries

(Optional) Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ⅔ ounces softened brick cream cheese
  • 1 ⅓ tablespoons softened, unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a little salt


Cake Loaf:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 8 x 4 loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a second bowl, mix oil, applesauce, brown sugar, carrots, and vanilla. Pour the second bowl over the first and whisk gently until just blended. Add nuts or other extras if desired.
  • Spread batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 55 to 65 minutes. After 25 minutes, cover the cake with foil to prevent overbrowning. It’s done when a small toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let your cake cool completely before frosting.

Optional Frosting:

  • Using a mixer with a whisk or paddle attachment, whip cream cheese at medium-high speed until smooth.
  • Add butter and mix until combined.
  • Add confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt, mixing at low speed until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Spread the frosting on your cooled cake.


  1. To make muffins or mini loaves, grease the pan and fill the cups with batter, then bake at 350°F (177°C), adjusting baking time based on pan size.
  2. Carrot cake loaf tastes even better the next day as flavors settle, making it twice as moist. Without frosting, store covered at room temp for 4 days or refrigerate for a week in humid climates.
  3. For a frosted cake, cover it and chill it in the fridge for a week, then let it return to room temp before serving. Cold carrot cake slices straight from the refrigerator are heaven, by the way! 
  4. Optionally, cut into the middle of the cake batter before baking to prevent over-puffing or doming. It also ensures more even baking throughout the loaf.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.8g | Fat: 10.9g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 10.7g | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg
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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

2 thoughts on “Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe With Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Made this last night, hands down the best carrot cake I’ve ever had, let alone baked myself!! Just the right amount of spice, moist but not dense, and that icing is just delicious! Thanks ladies! 😀

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